New Treatments for Prostate Cancer, CLL, and Melanoma Draw Attention at ASCO 2014

By Dave Johnson, Vice President, Encuity Research

The sentiments of oncologists following their experiences at ASCO translate into prescribing behaviors throughout the year. At Encuity Research, we know that the perceptions oncologists take away from ASCO are of high interest to pharmaceutical and biotech companies developing and commercializing products in this space.

To get a sense of the impact that the 2014 annual meeting of ASCO had on physicians, we surveyed 100 oncologists who attended the event. Oncologists reported that themes centered on new treatments for prostate cancer were the most important new clinical information presented at this year’s ASCO conference. Treatments for breast cancer, melanoma, lung cancer, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) followed. Specifically, new treatments for prostate cancer, with an emphasis on docetaxel, were cited by 35% of respondents, while advances in the treatment of breast cancer were cited by 18% of respondents (Figure 1).

Physicians rated information on Janssen/Pharmacyclic’s Imbruvica in chronic/small lymphocytic leukemia and mantle cell lymphoma the highest for overall value of information at the conference. Top-rated product themes also included Bristol-Myers Squibb’s nivolumab and Yervoy. Information related to Imbruvica in chronic/small lymphocytic leukemia and mantle cell lymphoma was highly rated by 73% of physicians, while information related to nivolumab and Yervoy in melanoma were highly rated by 59% of physicians.

Unaided, ASCO attendees highlighted news about Imbruvica and Sanofi’s Taxotere as the most valuable product information presented at the 2014 ASCO conference. Both products were cited by 20% of respondents. Nivolumab (18%) was close behind, while Yervoy (10%), Eli Lilly’s ramucirumab (9%), and Astellas/Medivation’s Xtandi (9%) rounded out the top products.

As in 2012 and 2013, oncologists overwhelmingly named Genentech/Roche as the company providing the most valuable information at ASCO in 2014. Unaided, 66% of physicians named Genentech/Roche as providing the most valuable information, with Bristol-Myers Squibb in second with 35% of mentions, followed by Novartis (26%), Pfizer (22%), and Merck (20%).

ASCO attendees recognized Pharmacyclics (11%), Gilead (10%), and Teva (9%) as the top three up-and-coming companies in the treatment of cancer. Seattle Genetics ranked fourth (7%).

Oncologists who attended the 2014 ASCO meeting gave the conference high overall ratings for its value. Over half of physicians rated it as very or extremely valuable, with 94% reporting that it was equal to or more valuable than the 2013 conference. (Figure 2).

Not only did oncologists find the conference valuable, it was also influential. The percentage of physicians who reported that they are more likely to change patient treatment based on 2014 ASCO findings increased compared with the 2013 conference. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of attendees indicated that they were very or extremely likely to change behavior following the 2014 conference, versus just 16% following the 2013 conference.

Using research such as this to measure and refine the impact of presenting at critical venues like ASCO is vital for a cost-conscious industry. Through the use of turnkey research, companies can quickly illuminate the influence of their clinical information and promotional efforts on physicians’ perceptions, understanding, and intent to prescribe.

Download the ASCO Impact Report
Encuity Research—the market research and analytics subsidiary of Campbell Alliance—conducted this survey to evaluate the relevancy and effectiveness of company-sponsored clinical data and promotions. The full results of the survey are summarized in the ASCO Impact Report, which provides an encompassing view of ASCO attendees’ intent to change treatment plans, their perceptions of clinical information presented, and their ratings of information offered by pharmaceutical and biotech companies. For a full version the ASCO Impact Report, please visit

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